Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Farren blouse + purple medallion

Farren blouse by Leifnotes:  Anthropologie, spring 2012
No. 2 pencil skirt in purple medallion:  J.Crew, spring 2012
Nude heels:  Tahari

I love all shades of purple.  Violet, lavendar, plum...love.  Apparently little girls share my love for purple.  I was standing at the trunk of my car today in a business parking lot, getting a few work items organized, when I felt some eyes on me.  I looked up and there was a ring of three little girls around me.  "You're SO pretty!" said one.  "We love your outfit!" added another, before their harried mom hustled them away.    It made me chuckle because for some reason I'm always a big hit amongst  little girls, which makes the fact that I have three little boys all the more ironic.   However, I try not to question God's plan for us, and I know I was meant to be a boy mom.  I definitely couldn't handle all the teenage angst that I put my mom through!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wrap around blouse + flowers

Wrap around blouse by Portrait of a Girl:  Anthropologie, winter 2012
San Pedro pencil skirt in gold:  Anthropologie, summer 2011
Flower belt:  Anthropologie, 2009 I think?
Gladiator heels:  Ann Taylor, summer 2009

You know those peaceful moments you have when you can stare, uninterrupted, into your wardrobe and dream up a fab outfit?  Yeah me either.  Moments like that don't exist in my life right now.  Most of the time, while I'm trying to scheme up an outfit, I have three little boys wrestling, running, and hanging around me.  Good thing I work well under pressure.  I dreamed up this outfit right after bath time last night, when the three little angels were NAKED and running all around me.  I think I deserve a medal for that, as I loved how it turned out and received many compliments today.

Amazing how the harsh morning light pretty much erases all of my makeup in pictures.  Any remedy for this?  I'm such a novice.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Radler blouse

Radler blouse by Girls From Savoy:  Anthropologie, summer 2011
Khaki shorts:  J.Crew
Gold navajo sandals:  Jack Rogers

 I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend!  We spent both Friday and Saturday evening with our boys and some other families and their children, so it was a casual weekend.  Date nights are awesome but I also love just hanging out with our boys on the weekends.   They're not going to want to spend Saturday nights with their mom and dad forever, so we need to cherish this time.

Back tomorrow!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pink Cottage + Succulent Green

Pink Cottage Blouse by Sarah Ball Photography:  Anthropologie, winter 2012
No. 2 pencil skirt in succulent green:  J.Crew, here
Patent leather peep toes:  Enzo Angiolini
I am sure you will not be shocked when I tell you that green and pink is my favorite color combination.  Which immediately made this blouse one of the favorites in my closet.  Last time I wore it with pink, here, and loved it.  Today I tried it with my new succulent green skirt. While I love both the looks, and I'm crazy about this green skirt,  I think I prefer it with the pink wool skirt as there's more of a contrast. What do you think?

 Finding a unique blouse like this is the reason I continue my love affair with Anthropologie, but I know this top may be to much "look" for some ladies.  Fortunately I like wearing a pink house that even includes a window to my soul.  I'm deep like that.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why does the scale weigh women down?

 Who likes the scale?

Hi everyone!  I'm taking a break from fashion today to discuss a topic that every woman has an opinion on:  Body image and the scale! I don't know a single woman who doesn't have some sort of battle with the scale.  Whether we have 10, 20, or even ZERO pounds to lose, it seems it's tough to be happy with that dang contraption that looms large from its post in the bathroom, or the numbers that it reveals when we step on it.  I'm less focused on it now that I have a family to care for.  I've tried to come to terms with the fact that it's more important to feel healthy that reach a certain number on the scale. But that wasn't always the case with me.  I've been working on and editing this blog post for weeks now, debating on whether or not I want to share a serious topic on a blog that I want to keep lighthearted and fun.  But I think it's a good topic, a worthy topic, and I have found such kindness through the blog world, I wanted to share a personal story that not many people know...

My body has always been tall and athletic, through my childhood, teen years, and on to adulthood.  I always played sports and exercised, even in college when people thought I was crazy for running in the snow, rain, or whatever weather we were having.  But eleven years ago, the summer that I got engaged, for some reason I decided I wasn't thin enough to be a perfect bride.  Looking back now, it is clear I quickly developed a problem.   At the time I was a television news reporter working the night shift, so I worked 3 to midnight.  That gave me plenty of morning hours to work out...and that is all I did when I wasn't working.  I'd do 80 minutes (!!!!) of cardio at the gym, lift some weights, and then come home and RUN for another 30 minutes.  I wouldn't eat a thing until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, when I got to work.  I had all these weird food  and exercise "rituals" and I'd get really stressed out if I couldn't follow them.  I weighed myself weekly, at the gym, and always had to wear the same exact outfit when I weighed in.  I was so weird about everything related to my weight, and I lost nearly 20 pounds.

My hip bones and collar bones jutted way out.  The entire time I was in this phase, even though I was the thinnest I had ever been, I still wasn't happy.  In fact, I was miserable.  I was exhausted and freezing all the time.  No one ever guessed I had a problem, not even my mom, my friends, or my then-fiance, who is now my husband.  I guess they didn't realize anything was wrong, because I was never to the point that I looked sick...just very thin.  I was also alone a lot during the week, due to my odd work schedule, and I did a good job of keeping my strange eating habits to myself.  When I was around my friends or family, I ate "normally."

This continued for a year, and then, the next summer, the summer of my wedding, everything changed quickly.  My mom was diagnosed with cancer two months before my wedding.  I was so terrified of losing her that I starting eating more, out of stress.  I gained enough weight that the seamstress actually had to let my wedding dress OUT (when does that ever  happen?)  I was distressed about gaining weight, but I simply had no more energy to continue that exhausting lifestyle.  I literally couldn't push myself anymore to work out for 2+ hours a day and starve. Plus, with my mom being sick, and then me being newly married,  I had other things to focus on.   And even though I didn't like that my size 2's no longer fit, I had to admit I felt better  when I wasn't starving myself. 

Luckily, my mom's cancer went into remission and she is still with us today, we just celebrated her 72nd birthday.  Less than a year after getting married, I quit reporting and moved on to a different career path.  I also became pregnant with our first son, quite unexpectly.  It was the greatest surprise ever!  I feel fortunate that my extreme exercising and dieting did not compromise my fertility.

Now, 11 years and more than 15 pounds heavier (that still bothers me to say, I must admit), I still exercise daily but not obsessively.  I have always been a runner, I go to the gym, I just try to be healthy.  Do I wish I were 5 pound lighter?  Sure, what woman doesn't?   But I will never let it control me again like it did in my 20's.  Life is too short and too precious.  When I look back, I feel sorry for that younger version of myself, trying so hard to be perfect and never quite reaching my own impossibly high standards.  What a waste of time and energy.

Me feeling victorious and healthy after the Columbus, OH half marathon last October. 

It really is a mystery to me why we, as women, myself definitely included, often times mistake  thinner  for    better.  Most men will say they prefer a woman with some curves.  But it's hard for us to listen, or believe that message.  I know part of that is due to the media, society, and Hollywood.  I also think women are simply hardwired to be critical of themselves and have difficulty being completely happy with their appearance.  I still fall into this trap...but I force myself out of it.  If I wouldn't say, "You look terrible today," to one of my friends, why would I ever say that to myself?

I appreciate you reading.  I'm not sure why I felt compelled to tell this story.  Maybe it will help another woman who is struggling with her weight, or overexercising, to remember that there are so many things that are more important to life than the scale or those last 10 pounds.  I want you to know I've had my body image struggles just like everyone else.  I truly think that each and every woman can be beautiful, no matter what her size.

Thanks for reading!  I'd love to hear your own thoughts and experiences!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stripes + Casbah

Navy/green striped top:  Banana Republic, spring 2012
Pencil skirt in casbah print:  J.Crew Factory, summer 2012
Password pumps: Seychelles
Disclosure:  This was yesterday's outfit.  I didn't post it after my J.Crew reviews as I figured you'd seen enough of me posing in front of the dress room mirrors.  Today I actually wore this dress in the exact same way as last time, so I didn't want to bore you with an outfit repeat.  So I decided to post this little pattern mixing number from yesterday.  What do you think?  When I first started this little blog in April, I had very little experience with pattern mixing.  I still think it can go very bad, very quickly.  But keeping the color schemes in the same family really seems to help pattern mixing make sense.  And it can take a simple outfit like a top and a skirt to a much more interesting level. 

Do you like to pattern mix?  What are your tricks for keeping it cohesive? 

On another note, I bought a bun form at the drugstore and used it on my hair in this picture.  LOVE it!  I already have a lot of hair so using the bun form gave me the most gigantic ballerina bun ever.  (You can kind of see it in the pictures from the J.Crew reviews in the previous post.)  If you haven't tried on yet, go buy one!  They're less than $5.00 and if I can do it anyone can.  Looks a lot better than my normal half-ass half ponytail! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

J.Crew fitting room reviews

Hello there!  I had a moment this evening to pop into J.Crew so I decided to try on some of the items that have not hit sale yet.  The store was pretty empty between the huge sales they've been having and the fact that the new fall items have not yet arrived. My favorite sales associate told me they are expecting the new fall lineup to be delivered tomorrow so I am sure I will stop back to see the new arrivals in person!  Until then here are a few of my picks from what's left:

Colorblock sequin tank in seamist/navy
Size small
$65  here
Ankle stretch toothpick jean in classic rinse wash
Size 28
$125 here
If you are not sequined-out, this is a really lovely tank for a not too crazy price.  I love this color scheme so much.  I tried on a size small and it was too big in the armholes and chest area...I would size down to an extra-small.  So this one definitely runs big, because it's a rare day that I take a size extra-small.  Other than that, I loved this top and it is on my wishlist.
I really liked these jeans a lot.  These are a 28 and they were pretty tight.  The muffin top was not pretty folks.  I'd probably size up to a 29 in these, so I'd say they run on the smaller side.  I'd also like to see how they look in size Long, but I don't mind the length on these.

Top in colorblock stripe in festival green
Size 4
$128 here
Oh dear, this top is not good.  The color scheme looks like something my 5 year old boy would like, and $128 for RAYON?  Come on J.Crew!  We thought the silk colorblock top was priced steep at around this price in the spring...to charge this price for rayon is unacceptable.  Not to mention the material just doesn't feel nice, and it's very shapeless.  I'm wearing a 4 and it was pretty big on me, so size down.  But this is a definitely PASS for me.

Tippi sweater in heart me
Size small, color pink peacock
$89.50 here
Cafe capri in kaleidoscope dot
Size 6
$148 here
I am torn on this tippi sweater.  On one hand I love it, and I love the colors.  But on the other hand, I feel like it looks juvenile.  I swear I had a similar Espirit sweater in the 4th grade.  (Remember before Justice there was Espirit?  Ahhh I am showing my age!)  I think this could look darling under a blazer, but then would I be too hot?  I guess I could save it for weekend wear.  I'm definitely on the fence.  On a sizing note, the small had tight arms.  But the body was fine, and I think sizing up to a medium would make it baggy.  Has anyone else noticed this?  My leopard tippi is a small and the arms aren't tight, so not sure why this one seems to be squeezing my arms like sausages.

On the pants:  I tried these on for the blog only.  I know lots of lovely ladies who look great in capris, I don't think I am one of them.  I feel so dowdy in them.  These are a size 6 and they were huge.  I'd definitely size down to a 4.  But these are a pass for me, the material was nice but the pattern screamed "jammie bottoms" to me.

Ankle stretch toothpick jean in garment-dyed twill
Color: Dark poppy, size 28
$125 here
I'm going to show my age again here by telling you I rocked red jeans in the early 90's as a young teen.  So these took me back to my youth, and I must say I loved them!  They were not too low-waisted either, so my muffin top did not spill over.  The size 28 fit great with a bit of stretch, and they felt soft too.  The color was saturated and pretty.  These are on my wishlist for sure.  I promise not to wear them with a black body suit circa 1994.

Dree Dress in Deck Stripe
Size 4
$148 here
Why am I making that face, do you ask?  Because I'm saying to myself  "Toooooooooooo short!"  Wow!  This is a 4 and I could tell it looked tiny but my store didn't have a 6 for me to try.  I would definitely need a 6 as this felt too tight.  However, I don't think sizing up would make the dress any longer, so it is a pass for me.  I liked the elasticized waist and material though, and I think more petite girls will look adorable.

Stripe derby dress
Size 4, navy
$138 here
I saw some girl wearing this dress one evening when we were out and I thought it looked adorable.  I knew I wanted to give it a try.  I thought it was really cute on, and a good length.  The size 4 was good, so I'd say this is TTS.  Love that it has pockets!  This is wishlisted for me. 

That's all of my reviews for today, I hope they were helpful!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Polka dots + Azalea Necklace

Polka dot dress:  Banana Republic, spring 2012
Azalea necklace in vibrant flame:  J.Crew, summer 2012
Peeptoes:  Anne Klein
What is that smudge under my left eye?  I look like I got punched.  Which I did, by Monday again.  Ha, I'm so clever.  All the polka dots in J.Crew's fall catalogue inspired me to pull this dress out.  A dotty dress can help even the worst case of the Mondays, did you know that?  I thought this necklace totally changed the look of this dress, and I really enjoyed the combo.  I almost returned this necklace and I'm so glad I decided to keep it.  I love the color and the fact that it is truly a "statement" piece.

Spekaing of statement pieces folks, I am seriously considering making a big (to me at least) purchase of a real bubble necklace from J.Crew.  This one to be exact.  I think the kelly green is a perfect year-round color, and I am already thinking of dozens of outfits to plan around it.  As much as I adore my Factory version, I still yearn for the huge real thing from retail.  What are your thoughts?  Do you have a real bubble?  Was it worth the cost?  I'd love to hear from you. 

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

2 J.Crew reviews: Ella in petal eyelet & Factory Leigh

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!  We had a fun night out with friends Friday night and a really nice family night Saturday, and today we're headed to the pool.  But I wanted to do a quick review post of two dresses I have purchased lately.  I searched everywhere before I bought the Ella dress in petal eyelet but I could not find any reviews on it.  I'm glad I took the chance and bought it anyway, in my normal strapless dress size 6, because I love it and with the additional 40% off, it was a total steal at $29.99.  It is still available online for $49.99, which I still think is a good price for a cute summer dress.  I plan on wearing this as much as possible in the last weeks of summer!

Ella Dress in Petal eyelet
Color: succulent green, also in ivory and faded lavendar
See here

This Ella dress fits TTS, and doesn't seem as short as some of J.Crew's other strapless options.  The eyelet is a wonderful cotton material, and it has pockets, always a bonus!  I definitely think it can be dressed up for evening or down for day.  I really love it, and recommend for a cute summer dress for a great price! !  I got the green color on popback one morning and was sure it wouldn't ship...you know how that goes.  But I never got the "We have news about your order, and it isn't good" email, and a few days later it arrived.  I'm very happy with it and can't believe it only cost me $29.99!

J.Crew Factory Leigh Dress
Color: Deep Lagoon
Buy here
I know that the Factory versions are often times not up to par with the regular J.Crew retail, but this dress, new for fall, is quite lovely.  The closest Factory store is about 30 miles north of Cincinnati, at the Monroe Outlet Mall, so I don't get there often.  But we had a private showing of our house yesterday and had to be out of the house, and I had a return to make to the Factory, so we headed to Monroe to kill some time.  I thought the Factory had some really lovely items in for fall, including this dress.  It was 20% off in-store, and it is currently 30% off online (SO annoying.) Even though it's a wool/poly/viscose/spandex blend, the material feels nice, and I love the ruffle detail at the neckline.  I also love how nipped in it is at the waist, it really flatters there.  I plan on wearing this with a blazer or cardigan for work in the fall.  It's also a very nice length for those of us who are taller.
One thing to note is this dress runs a bit on the small size.  If you are often between sizes at J.Crew, like I am, go with your larger size.  I am most often a size 4 in sheath dresses at J.Crew, and I took a 6 in this.  I most definitely would not have been able to go with the 4.  The hips are kind of narrow.  So keep that in mind.
The Factory also had bubble necklaces in turquoise, yellow, and red!  All were cute!

I hope these two reviews are helpful.  Enjoy the rest of this beautiful weekend!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pink jacket + garden floral

Cotton sateen jacket in light pink:  J.Crew, spring 2009
Silk bow cami in garden floral:  J.Crew, summer 2012
Stretch pencil skirt:  Ann Taylor, summer 2010
Black gladiator shoes:  Ann Taylor, summer 2009
Friday, you beautiful thing you.  Is there any lovlier day?  I had an important day so I had to break out  a blazer, something I haven't done much of this summer because it has been so everlastingly hot and muggy here.  Today was more overcast and rainy though so I wasn't too hot.  I have noticed that I really don't own too many summer blazers...most of mine are of the wool variety and better suited for cooler weather.  This jacket from J.Crew is a few years old but I still love it...fun but professional.  I love pairing older items (jacket and skirt) with newer finds (silk bow cami).  Plus this jacket always makes me feel a bit like a Pink Lady from Grease.  Just call me Rizzo.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Raindrop lace +Golden bubbles

Raindrop lace top in bright pink:  J.Crew, summer 2012
Golden bubbles pencil skirt:  J.Crew, fall 2010
Nude heels: Tahari
Gold leather belt:  Banana Republic
Necklace:  J.Crew, 2010
Another day of bright pink!  I love this color so much.  This outfit happened quite by happenstance, actually.  I've had this top for a while now and haven't worn it because I struggled with how to style it.  Black seemed way to harsh and '80's, and I wasn't sure how it would look with a floral skirt.  Then last night I noticed the top was hanging right next to the skirt in my laundry room, and I realized the two would be a good combo!  I love this top but it hangs straight, so I added a thin gold belt for more shape and I really like how it turned out. The golden bubbles skirt from 2010 is so pretty, isn't it?  Very unique.

I was just lamenting yesterday how I was bored with nude shoes, and here I am back again with them.  Addictions are hard to break, folks.

How would you style this top?

Thanks for stopping by! Do you like the squirt gun on the porch floor behind me?  Ah life with 3 boys...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lucille dress + Azalea necklace

Lucille dress in cotton-silk faille, hot pink:  J.Crew, here
Azalea necklace in vibrant flame:  J.Crew, summer 2012
Pink and green floral shoes:  Anne Klein, old
So this dress stopped people in their tracks all day with its brightness!  This is NOT for ladies who prefer to blend into the crowd...because there is no hiding in this color folks!  And combining it with a huge orange necklace only made me stand out more...but hey I'm almost 6 feet tall, I'm going to stand out no matter what, might as well look good doing it.  Ha.  Anyway, for those of you still considering the Lucille, I would say it runs pretty TTS...this is a 6.  I probably could have gone with a 4 but I didn't want it to pull across the chest.  I do wish it were a couple inches shorter, but I didn't find it to be scandalous.  All in all, I LOVE the material and the fact that I can dress it up for work in heels and a statement necklace and dress it down with flats or sandals for the weekend.

So I think I have finally burned myself out on my nude heel obsession.  I am sure I will still wear them a lot since they go with everything, but today I realized I was utterly bored with the look so I dusted off these old pink and green pumps from a few years ago.  Because really, my outfit wasn't quite bright enough without them.

Just as a reminder, please check out my new consignment blog, http://www.shopcolorfulcorporate.blogspot.com/ as I am really editing my closet right now and trying to find new homes for beautiful items that are not getting enough love from me!  Just added a few new things tonight!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Items in Shop Colorful Corporate!

Hello gorgeous ladies, no OOTD today as I am home for another day of training.  I did add some new items to http://www.shopcolorfulcorporate.blogspot.com/ including some Anthro necklaces and other goodies, so please check it out!  Tell your friends about it too!

Hope you are all having a wonderful day!  I will be back with an OOTD tomorrow!

Off topic, J.Crew pop backs kill me!  You think you will able to order it...and then NOPE it's already gone!  Darn you yellow bubble necklace!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Malino Peasant Blouse + No. 2 pencil skirt

Malino Peasant Blouse by HD In Paris:  Anthropologie, here
No. 2 pencil skirtin neon pink:  J.Crew, here
Necklace:  Anthropologie, 2010
Nude peep toes:  Via Spiga
Good Monday my friends!  I don't know about you but this Monday was NOT kind to me. It all began to go downhill when I forgot to apply mascara in the morning (not good for those of us with skimpy lashes) and escalated from there, culminating in my pencil skirt RIPPING down the back right before lunch!  I almost started to cry.  Thankfully it was right before lunch so I ran home, changed, and ran this skirt to J.Crew, where they agreed to have the tailor fix it.  Trust me, having your pencil skirt rip right down your behind brings a whole new level to having a fat day.  Add on top of that computer problems, a kid at camp, and the normal craziness of working and taking care of kids, and you've got one manic Monday.

I didn't even look twice at this top when I saw it online.  I don't swoon at the term "peasant blouse," it's just not my normal "look."  But when I saw this in person, I loved the colors and knew it would look great with many of my skirts.  Plus it's very lightweight, and even though I wore a cami underneath to prevent sheerness, it kept me pretty cool.

Don't forget to check out J.Crew's sale section.  An addional 40% off makes everything so reasonable and tempting!  Ahhh J.Crew what are you doing to us this summer??!!

Speaking of sales, if you haven't had a chance yet, check out the new addition to my blog.  It is http://www.shopcolorfulcorporate.blogspot.com/ and I will be adding more styles this week.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Introducing: Shop Colorful Corporate!

Hello everyone!  Hope you are all having a relaxing, restful weekend!  I wanted to let everyone know I have started a "Shop Colorful Corporate" portion of my blog!  You can find it in the lower righthand side of my blog, or also go to http://www.shopcolorfulcorporate.blogspot.com/ to take a look.  I will be adding new items on a regular basis, so if you don't see anything that suits you this time, please keep checking.  I always consign my clothing, and I thought doing it this way cuts out the middle man and the extra step of having to take all of the clothes to the consignment shop!  If you have any suggestions for how to improve my method I'd love to hear from you, as this is all new to me! 

Shipping is included in all of the item prices.  I'm also willing to accept a best offer on items, so don't be afraid to make an offer! 

I'm also working on another blog entry following the "Moms who care about style" entry that received SO much awesome feedback.  Thank you all for your insightful, amazing comments and for sharing your own experiences and opinions.  This next entry will be based around why we, as women, are constantly fretting about the scale.  I do it, and I know most women have their own issues, big and small, with weight and body image.  I look forward to all of your brilliant feedback on this hot topic too!

Thanks, and I'll be back tomorrow with an OOTD!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ruffled cotton sateen dress

Ruffled cotton sateen dress: J.Crew, summer 2009
Navajo mid-wedge:  Jack Rogers, here
Headband:  Anthropologie, similar here
Turquoise beaded necklace:  Ann Taylor, old
How's everyone's weekend going?  We kicked off our weekend with a fabulous boat ride on the Ohio River with 3 other couples, on our friend's boat.  Cocktails, great food, and we even caught the fireworks at the end of the Cincinnati Reds game from the river.  It was a beautiful evening.  I love this dress from 3 summers ago...although sadly it does wrinkly terribly!  This picture was taken after I'd only been wearing it for about 30 minutes.  Boooo!  I hadn't noticed how wrinkled it looked until I saw this picture.  Ah well, it's still one of my summer faves.  Isn't that why we all love J.Crew so much...the pieces are so timeless, we can pull them out season after season.

Here's a picture of the girls on the boat, as we were watching the fireworks.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Raj paisley + chambray + seahorse

Linen- cotton chambray shirt:  Banana Republic, here
No. 2 pencil skirt in raj paisley:  J.Crew, limited sizes here
Double-strand seahorse necklace:  J.Crew, here
Red pumps:  Banana Republic Man Men collection, fall 2011
I think this is my favorite outfit of the summer so far!  This skirt was a total eye-catcher today, receiving compliments everywhere I went.  I had to run into Macy's during my lunch break to pick up my favorite lipstick (Clinique Buttershine in Pink Goddess, flatters every skin tone, you NEED this) and the Clinique sales associate said "I love everything about your outfit!"  How nice was that? It made my day.  To be honest a chambray shirt is quite casual for my work environment, but it's a Friday in July so I thought it would be acceptable with a nice pencil skirt and pumps.

 I've been on the lookout for a chambray shirt for quite a while, and I love the color blue of this one. Heads up though, If you're thinking about this top from Banana Republic, size UP!  This top runs very small.  But I think it will be a go-to piece for the rest of the summer, and I've gotten so many ideas on how to wear it from some of my favorite bloggers. 

Hope everyone had a great Friday!  I'm ready to start my weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Marbled Waters Shift

Marbled Waters shift by Maeve:  Anthropologie, summer 2012
Nude oscar pumps:  Jessica Simpson
I decided to take a break from all my J.Crew sale finds and wear one of the Anthropologie treasures I picked up during the extra 25% off sale.  I wasn't overly wowed by the sale, but I did pick up a few cute items.  I first revieiwed this dress here, and at that time I said I could totally see this as a summer work dress.  I was so happy when I scooped it up for less than half of the regular price, and the SAs in my local Anthropologie were nice enough to track it down for me in Columbus, OH because it was out of stock here in Cincinnati.  Cheers for good customer service!

The colors of this dress are so perfectly pool-like for summer, and in this era of super short dresses at Anthro, I am so happy this one falls to just above my knee, totally work appropriate.  I would have preferred wearing my light blue patent peep toes with it, but I am in desperate need for a pedicure so pumps it had to be.

Did you get anything great during Anthro's sale?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peplum top in fresco floral

Peplum top in fresco floral sateen:  J.Crew collection, spring 2012, popbacks here
No. 2 pencil skirt in marrakech purple:  J.Crew, here
Nude oscar pumps:  Jessica Simpson
While the original price on this top was completely insane, I got it for a nice little steal during the recent J.Crew sale.  As we all know, in-store prices differed vastly from online prices, and this top was marked all the way to $69.99 in-store with an additional 30% off.  (The lowest it got online was 119.99 as you can see on the popback.)  Now here is where I get confused:  It seems like the fate of the item you are after totally depends on which sales associate or catalogue rep you get on the phone when you are searching.  I had no problem hunting down this top, which was never carried in my local store, but the next time I went to search for an item that was still full price online but on sale in-store,the sequin anchor tank, I had no luck.  The catalogue said they could only offer me the online price.  My local store tried to do a search and find for me, but I got an email two days later that the search was unsuccessful. (If anyone sees one in a size extra small, small or medium in your local store PLEASE message me!)  But I digress.  I am so, so happy J.Crew tracked down this top for me, at such a great price, when I thought I had missed out.  It brought a smile to my face all day.  It is a beautifully made top and one that will be in my closet for years to come.

See...I told you I've been hitting the Crew-lade hard!  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Anthropologie Fitting Room Reviews!

Good evening!  No OOTD post today because I was at home all day, on a training conference call for work.  But I was able to sneak over to Anthropologie this evening to catch the last hour of extra 25% off and I tried on some newer arrivals as well.  I haven't done an Anthropologie fitting room review for a while, so I hope you enjoy!  I tried on 4 tops and 3 skirts.  Please excuse my disheveled hair and makeup-less self!

Malva Top by Leifsdottir
100% silk
$118 here
I loved the colors in this top but I don't think the fit is all that flattering.  This is a 4, my regular Anthro size, if one exists, and it just seems kind of wide and shapeless.  It's also a bit oddly asymmetrical.  However, I like that it's silk and I love the bright colors, so it's not a total pass.  Give it a try and see for yourself. 

Split Narcissus Top by We Love Vera
Cotton and silk
$78 here
Hee I can tell by my face that I do not like the look of this on me.  This is a size 4 and it just hung there.  I loved the pretty yellow colors, that is what caught my eye, and it was a very soft material, but this is not my cup of tea.  Pass for me.

Sagiso blouse by Dolce Vita
Cotton and silk
$168 here
If loving sheer tops that look like a doily is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.  I have always had a soft spot for beautiful  embroidered ivory tops, and this one will definitely be mine someday.  (My husband teases me about my love for tops that look like doilies.) Clearly it's sheer, as you can see my nude bra, and the price is way to high.  But it's a beautiful top that would look so chic with a pencil skirt and so fresh with a a pair of colored jeans.  LOVE!  This is a size 4 and TTS.

Onyx-scalloped blouse by??
Nylon (wah wah waaaaaah)
$118 here
Dilated lace skirt by ??
$148 here
Oddly Anthro's website does not list the labels on either of these items and I can't remember what they are either!  I want to say Postmark?  If anyone knows please leave a comment.  Anyway, I love the idea of this top.  But the top itself...nylon (really Anthro?) and totally sheer, is a bit disappointing.  However, looking at the picture I think it could be quite flattering.  So if it goes to sale, I may reconsider.  This is a 4 and TTS. 

I really wanted to like the skirt, but it was quite uncomfortable and oddly created.  The layer underneath was a stiff, thin cotton and the black overlay was very stiff and looked like it would pull easily.  I like how it looks in the picture, but I don't think I love it IRL.  Plus the price is too high for me.  Also, this is a 6 and it runs small so you may want to size up!

Gilded Estate skirt by Yoana Baraschi
Cotton, spandex, polyester lining
$128 here
I have seen this skirt on several bloggers now, including the lovely Roxy, and knew I wanted to try it for myself.  LOVE!  This skirt will be mine for sure.  Yoana Baraschi has always been one of my favorite labels in Anthro, and this skirt lives up to my expectations! I'm wearing a 4 which is clearly too tight, so I will go with a 6 which is my normal pencil skirt size in Anthro.  The material and design are so lovely, and it's a nice saturated blue.  A+ for me! I'd say this skirt runs slightly small, so keep that in mind.

Beryl skirt by Yoana Baraschi
Polyester (wah wah waaaah)
$128 here
Arrrgh polyester again!  Do I just have to give up and accept the fact that it is everywhere, even at higher end retailers?  Although I will say that this polyester actually felt nice and I thought it was silk until I looked at the label.  This is a 6 and TTS.  It's a cute and bold skirt, but I don't think it's for me.  Great colors and pattern mixing though!

Those are all the reviews I have for you today.  I definitely found more new arrivals I liked at Anthro today than I did the last time I did reviews.   I hope you enjoyed the reviews as well.  Thanks for visiting!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Double-strand seahorse necklace

Silk Kelsey blouse:  J.Crew, fall 2009
No. 2 pencil skirt in garden flora:  J.Crew spring 2012- check stores
Nude oscar pumps:  Jessica Simpson
Double-strand seahorse necklace:  J.Crew, here
I bet I can read your mind...you are thinking one or both of the following:  1.) She has really been drinking the Crew-lade, and 2.) Did she base her entire outfit around that necklace?  And the answers would be correct-o and right-o!  I spent waaaay too much time at J.Crew during my week off...all those deals were simply too good to pass up.  So you will be seeing a lot of J.Crew in the upcoming future from me.  When I first saw this fabulous necklace on Dina I fell in love.  But $150 is just too steep a price for me.  Imagine my delight when it got marked down to $89.99 in-store, with an additional 30% off!  That price I can definitely handle, and I'm so happy with it.  It just feels special and unique, and I love the little seahorse.  I paired it with a navy top, to let it shine against the garden floral pencil skirt, which was another insane deal during this J.Crew sale. 

My outfit joy was enough to see me though a crazy Monday and first day back from vacation. 

Tell me, did you score a lot of great deals during the huge J.Crew sale?  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Goldfish Bowl skirt

Zigzag lace shell:  Banana Republic, spring 2012, other colors here
Goldfish Bowl skirt by We Love Vera:  Anthropologie, summer 2011
Gold wedges:  Michael by Michael Kors
Bubble necklace:  J.Crew Factory
What to wear to a concert with thousands of screaming kids?  That was the question tonight, as we took our two older boys to see their favorite boy band, Big Time Rush!  This group has a show on Nickelodeon that our boys love, and they were so excited to see them in person...the looks on their little faces were priceless!  Anyway, I obviously did NOT want to do the jean cut-offs/rubber flip flop look so prevalent at concerts (WHY??) so I dressed up a bit.   Can I tell you I am loving the orange/pink color combination this summer?  It's reminds me of sorbet, and I'll definitely be trying it again soon!

Here's a picture of us at the show!

Tomorrow it's back to the daily grind of work...but I'm ready.  I've had a great time off!  Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

A HUGE heartfelt thank you to Apples and Pencil Skirts for awarding my little blog the "One Lovely Blog Award."  I am SO honored and now I get to pass it on!
Here are the rules for this award:

1. Follow the person who gave you the award. 
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
3. Pass the award on to 15 other bloggers.
4. Let the 15 bloggers know they have been nominated. 

In no particular order, I am passing on the One Lovely Blog Award to:

Pamela at Ginger Girl
Sweet tea in Seattle at Sparrows and Sparkle
Molly at Anthromollogies
Londyn at Blogfashion
MakeupandPearls at Little Pieces of Love
My4Boys at Tweed and Toile
Kasmira at What I wore 2day
Kristin at Fresh Equation

Thank you SO much to Apples and Pencil Skirts for this award.  This whole blog experience has been nothing but positive, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of us!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Silk bow cami in stripe

Silk bow cami in stripe:  J.Crew, summer 2012,  here
Pastiche shorts:  J.Crew, summer 2010
Navajo mid wedges:  Jack Rogers, limited sizes here
Today is my wonderful mother's 72nd birthday.  To celebrate I made a nice summer meal and just had our little family around the table for a birthday lunch.  The first thing my mom said when she walked in was, "What are you wearing?  It looks like you got dressed in the dark."  She's not really up on the whole pattern mixing trend and rolled her eyes when I told her mixing stripes and florals was "in."  She secretly acts annoyed by my fashion obsession but I know deep down she enjoys hearing about it all.   I thought this top and shorts looked so fun together, I've really be embracing the pattern mixing this summer!  This week has been such a nice, relaxing time off work...I feel happy and reconnected to my family, and ready to go back to the daily grind on Monday.  I hope you all had a great week too! Tonight we are braving the crowds at King's Island in 100 degree heat with our kids and another family.  Wish us luck!  I definitely will be changing my top...I do not want to ruin this one!

Here is a picture of me, my mom, and my middle son on her birthday.

Happy 72nd birthday mom!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What does it mean to be a mother who loves fashion?

Photo courtesy of J.Crew
I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a mother who also holds a high regard for fashion and style.  I will admit to worrying at times that others look upon in disdain at we women who have children yet also still enjoy "making an effort."  Is it selfish to want to spend money on frivolious items like the coveted dress or a fabulous pair of heels when you have children to support?  Is it vapid to worry about the latest trends when you should be worrying about raising your children?  Some would argue yes, it is.  And while everyone is entitled to her own opinion, this reasoning really makes me sad. 

My boys are the greatest loves in my life.   There is nothing I would rather stare at than their precious faces, no sound I would rather hear than their sweet voices. Of course I put my children's needs above my own, but I can't deny a love, and a passion, for all things beautiful; clothing, products, home decor.  That passion has actually grown stronger in my 30's, as I continue to develop a deeper appreciation for high quality fabrics and design.  But yet the confidence I've gained as I've grown older can still waver when I notice a true or imagined glare from another mom.  I'm accustomed to being the most dressed-up mom wherever I am, playground, school drop off, soccer practice.  Some of that is due to the fact I work.  But most of it is that many moms simply would rather wear yoga pants and a hoodie than dress up. That's their choice, and that's fine with me. But sometimes I feel like the outcast for not making that choice, for wanting to look nice.  We always hear about "mommy wars" and I believe this is a true one.  Women are so competitive, we're always looking out for who's better than whom.  Who's the better mommy?  And does it make one a better mother to not focus at all on herself?  To give every aspect of her being to her children, and then wake up in 10 or 15 years and wonder, who am I now? 

This is such a fascinating topic to me, and while you know which side of the fence I am on, I truly do not believe their is a one-size-fits-all answer.  Like many aspects of motherhood, I believe it's whatever works for you.  Putting on a pretty dress, even if just to run errands or go to the park, works for me.  I get that it doesn't work for every mom.  But can we try to judge each other less, and perhaps act a little kinder?  We're all doing the hardest job in the world-raising children.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.  I actually had quite a challenge putting my thoughts and feelings into words for this post, and it's a surprisingly emotional topic!  I'd love to hear from you!  Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th outfits!

Mariposa Tank by Girls From Savoy:  Anthropologie, Summer 2011
Sailor shorts in strawberry:  J.Crew, here
Yellow wedges:  Audry Brook,  other colors here
What a day!  We've been running from here to there all day but it's been a great time with friends.  I had an outfit change due to the fact that the heat wave in Cincinnati is still going strong!  For our first event, a fun festival at a lake community in Northern Kentucky, I went pretty casual with this tank and shorts. I forgot how comfortable and flattering this top is, I will definitely be wearing it again this summer. I also highly recommend these shorts from J.Crew...they are the perfect length and so comfy, but if you can catch them in-store they are a much better price!

Isabel dress in white mariposa:  Lilly Pulitzer, summer 2012 here
Jack Rogers Rio Navajo in turquoise/gold, summer 2012 buy on sale here
Our next stop was a kid-friendly party, hosted by a family from our sons' school. I wanted to dress up a bit more so I went with this Lilly dress with gorgeous lace detail at the halter.  Since I was still running after my 2 year old I wore flat sandals and I'm glad I did as he was in HIGH MAINTAINENCE mode at this party.  Whew...we're home now, it's 10 PM and I'm ready to put the kidsg to bed and have 1 drink that I can actually enjoy without running after someone, getting a water for someone, or otherwise tending to their needs.  Happy 4th everyone!  I am so proud of our country and the men and women who defend our nation. 

Banderole silk tank + seersucker

Banderole silk tank by We Love Vera:  Anthropologie, summer 2010
Seersucker shorts:  J.Crew, summer 2009
Red wedges:  Me Too
Happy 4th of July!  I didn't plan on such a lack of posts this week!  I have been off work, a "staycation" if you will, and it has been a constant running around with the boys and most of the time I've been in my bathing suit or workout clothes!  Which leads me to think that if I were a stay at home mom, I wouldn't be stylish...I'd probably allow myself to fall into frump land.  What a scary thought!  Anyway, it's been a great, fun week full of plans with friends, swimming, and being with my boys.  I wore this yesterday evening for swimming, dinner, and fireworks afterward with our dear friends and their two kids.  This We Love Vera tank is just so perfect for 4th of July festivities, I couldn't NOT wear it!  I wear it at least once around this time of year, every year. Sorry for the blurry photo...my 7 year old was in charge again. 

Here is a photo of me with my 7 year old and his good friend.  They've grown up together and her parents are some of our best friends.  I love the thought of my kids growing older with friends who have known them forever, don't you?   

We have two parties today and I will get outfit photos, I will post them later.  Hope your week has been just as fun!  Shopping with M is having a fun give-away of a cute J.Crew clutch...head over that way!  Happy 4th!  I'm proud to be an American.